I'm trying to remember a book title, wherein the main character pretends to be in a coma, and is a telepath. He travels the 'net with his mind and at one point, comes across a number of minds that are in orbit on a satellite. They greet him, and this startles him so much that his life signs in the long term care facility where he's "parked" potentially(?) raise the alarm that he's conscious. (The book goes into some detail about how much control he has to leverage over his physical body to pull off the guise of a coma.)

The only other part of the book I can remember is a relatively graphic scene where a female character--I believe one of a team in pursuit of the main character--is descending in an elevator with a man, perhaps into the facility where the main character's "comatose" body is located. For some reason I can't remember, she feels compelled to suddenly give the man oral sex and suddenly bite off his penis.

Any ideas?

  • Note OP acceptance comment for answer below.
    – Otis
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


You may be thinking of the novel Star Fire by Ingo Swann, published in 1978. I wasn't able to find a detailed description of the story, but this is what I recall and what is mentioned in some of the online reviews of the book.

The protagonist for the first part of the story is Daniel Merriweather, a rock musician with psychic abilities. In one early scene, he's being tested in a lab and complains that the tests aren't geared toward his actual abilities. As a demonstration, he reaches into a nearby computer with his mind and makes a flower appear on the screen (which would have been a good trick at the time). The researcher accuses Merriweather of faking the whole thing.

The story shifts to a secret US government cold war program involving psychics. I don't remember much about this part of the book, but your sex scene may have occurred between people working on this project. I also seem to remember that they were testing monkeys hooked up to a machine which enhances psychic abilities. There is a fairly gory scene involving one of the monkeys when the machine fails.

The satellite scene occurs later in the novel. Merriweather has developed his abilities and is having an extended out-of-the-body experience. He encounters a Russian satellite in orbit, apparently from a Soviet cold war psychic project. It contains brain segments from several soviet psychics. He communicates with the remains of their minds, and they ask to be put out of their misery. So he mentally triggers something in the satellite which causes it to explode.

Here is another question where someone may have been asking about the same book. His description may ring a bell for you.

  • Yes, this appears to be the story in question. Thanks very much for the pointer. FWIW, the "sexual act" is described much more vaguely, and it's not clear if the female character even gets started; we're exposed to her thought process more than the physical act, and within a few sentences, she's shot and killed. Much obliged for the pointer.
    – user44087
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 16:49
  • @Mayf: As per my comment your earlier comment as answer, please log into your prior account and accept the answer by clicking on the checkmark.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 17:35

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